Below is a quick step-by-step guide to our complaints procedure. You'll find more information on each stage of the process further down this page.
You can make your complaint in person, by phone, by email or in writing. We have a two-stage complaints procedure. We'll always try to deal with your complaint quickly but if it's clear the matter will need a detailed investigation, we'll tell you and keep you updated on our progress.
2. Stage 1: frontline resolution
We'll always try to resolve your complaint quickly, within five working days if we can. If you're not satisfied with our response, you can ask us to consider your complaint at Stage 2.
3. Stage 2: investigation
We'll look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at Stage 1. We also look at some complaints immediately at this stage, if it's clear that they're complex or need detailed investigation.
We'll acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We'll give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be after no more than 20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time.
4. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO)
If, after receiving our final decision on your complaint, you remain dissatisfied with our decision or the way we have handled your complaint, you can ask the SPSO to consider it.
What is a complaint?
An expression of dissatisfaction by one or more individuals about the standard of service, action or lack of action by or on behalf of Scottish Enterprise.
A complaint may relate to:
- The quality and standard of service
- Failure to provide a service
- Dissatisfaction with a Scottish Enterprise policy
- Treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
- Disagreement with a decision where the customer cannot use another procedure (for example an appeal) to resolve the matter
- The failure of Scottish Enterprise to follow an appropriate administrative process
Your complaint may involve more than one service or be about someone working on our behalf.
There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include:
- A routine first-time request for a service
- A request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act or Data Protection Act
- A request for information or an explanation of policy or practice
- A response to an invitation to provide feedback through a formal mechanism such as a questionnaire will generally not be treated as a complaint
- A grievance by a member of staff which is eligible for handling through the grievance procedure
- A request for compensation only
- Issues that are in court or have already been heard by a court or a tribunal
- Disagreement with a decision where a statutory right of appeal exists
- An attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision
If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.
Who can complain?
Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service.
How do I complain?
You can complain in person at any of our offices, by phone, in writing or by email.
It's easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So talk to a member of our staff and they can try to resolve any problems on the spot.
When complaining, tell us:
- Your full name and address
- As much as you can about the complaint
- What has gone wrong
- How you want us to resolve the matter
Write to us at the address below:
Enquiry Fulfilment and Research Service,
2 Mariner Court,
8 South Avenue,
How long do you have to make a complaint?
Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of:
- The event you want to complain about, or
- Finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself
In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.
What happens when you've complained?
We'll always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. Our complaints procedure has two stages:
Stage one – frontline resolution
We aim to resolve complaints quickly. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem.
We'll give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we'll explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest you take your complaint to Stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision.
Stage two – investigation
Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.
When using Stage 2 we'll:
- Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
- Where appropriate, discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
- Give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days
We'll let you know if our investigation will take longer than 20 working days. We'll agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.
What if you're still not satisfied?
After we've fully investigated, if you're still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.
The SPSO cannot normally look at:
- A complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO)
- Events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago
- A matter that has been or is being considered in court
Contact the SPSO
We understand you may be unable or reluctant to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.
Find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.
Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance website
We're committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we'll always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. Get in touch if you have trouble putting your complaint in writing or want this information in another language or format, such as large font, or Braille.
Download details of all complaints from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017